Friday, January 30, 2009

Trimming the Fringe

My hometown has been trimmed.

I grew up in Lawrenceburg, Tenn., a town of about 15,000 in southern Middle Tennessee. Not known for much except once boasting the world's largest bicycle factory, which cranked out bikes for nearly everyone who then put their own brand on it (Sears, Western Auto, etc.).

I also grew up delivering the Nashville Tennessean (mornings) and Banner (afternoons -- now defunct). At age 12 I got up around 5:30 every morning to bike my way around the streets, tossing the Tennessean on people's driveways. Did it again at 3 for the Banner. This paid for two motorcycles and a car for me before I was even 17 because my route got bigger and bigger. My dad was the regional circulation manager for both papers. I grew up in the circulation business.

Anyway, my mom told me today that the Tennessean will no longer deliver in L'burg.

A lot of metro papers are doing this. It's called trimming the fringe, a cost saving measure since city advertisers aren't really looking to reach people 70 miles down the road.

And it sucks.

It sucks because one of the first things I do when I visit home is walk to a nearby store and buy a Sun-Drop (greatest soft drink every made) and a copy of the Tennessean. It sucks because this was the only real daily serving my hometown. It sucks because with no circulation there, how likely is it the paper will truly keep an eye on the crooks and nuts who live and run L'burg? It sure as hell won't be the two little local weeklies.

It sucks in so many ways, I'm gonna stop now before I type suck one more time. Okay, once more. It sucks.

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